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Cover of German biometric passport

German passports are issued to nationals of Germany for the purpose of international travel. A German passport is, besides the German Personalausweis, the only other officially recognized document that German (and most other EU) authorities will routinely accept as proof of identity from German citizens. Besides serving as proof of identity and presumption of German nationality, they facilitate the process of securing assistance from German consular officials abroad (or other EU-members in the case that a German consular facility is absent). German passports are valid for ten years (for people older than 24) or six years (for people until the age of 24) and share the standardised layout and burgundy red design with other EU passports.

Historic Passport of the GDR.

Contents

Physical appearance

German passports have followed since 1 January 1988 the standard European Union passport design, with burgundy red cover and the German Coat of arms (eagle) emblazoned in the centre of the front cover. The word "Reisepass" (German for passport) is inscribed below the coat of arms, while "Europäische Union" (German for European Union) and "Bundesrepublik Deutschland" (German for Federal Republic of Germany) appear above.

German passports are normally 32 pages long; a 48-page version for frequent travellers can be issued on request.

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Identity Information Page

German biometric Information Page

The first two pages of a German passport are security laminated and the second page includes the following data:

  • Photo of passport holder
  • Type of document (P = passport)
  • Code for issuing country (D = Germany)
  • Passport number (10 decimal digits)
  • Surname (1)
  • Given names (2)
  • Nationality (3)
  • Date of birth (4)
  • Sex (5)
  • Place of birth (6)
  • Date of issue (7)
  • Date of expiry (8)
  • Authority that issued the passport (9)
  • Holder's signature (10)

The page ends with a 2-line machine readable zone, according to ICAO standard 9303.

In November 2001, an "identigram" feature was added to the information page, which copies the photograph and the information from the machine-readable zone into a holographic structure.

Following page

The following page lists:

Passport note

Passports may contain a note from the issuing state that is addressed to the authorities of other states. Such notes are found in European passports on the inside of the back cover page. The note inside German passports reads:

"Dieser Reisepass ist Eigentum der Bundesrepublik Deutschland
This passport is the property of the Federal Republic of Germany
Ce passeport est propriété de la République fédérale d'Allemagne"

Languages

The data page/information page is printed in German, English and French.

RFID chip with biometric certificate

Since 1 November 2005, German passports had a contactless smartcard (proximity card) chip and 13.56 MHz loop antenna embedded into the front cover page[1], in accordance with ICAO standards. The chip and antenna are not easily visually recognizable, but their presence is indicated using the ICAO biometric passport symbol at the bottom of the front cover. It carries all the data printed in the passport, including a JPEG file of the photo, protected by a digital signature.

On 1 November 2007, several changes were made to the passport:

  • Applicants also have to provide – in addition to the traditional passport data – scans of two fingerprints, which are added to the chip.
  • The previously 10-digit, all-numeric, sequentially assigned serial number was replaced with a new alphanumeric pseudorandomly assigned higher-entropy serial number, to increase the entropy of the serial number from the previous 35 digits to 45 bits.[2] This improves the cryptographic key strength of the Basic Access Control mechanism of the RFID chip by 10 bits, which makes a brute force attack approximately 1000 times more expensive.
  • The validity period of passports issued to holders under the age of 24 increases from five to six years; older applicants receive a passport valid for ten years.
  • The field "Religious name or pseudonym" is no longer included.

Issuing process

German passports are issued, just like German ID cards, by local municipal registration offices. Applicants have to apply for a new passport in person and the data in newly issued passports is essentially an authenticated copy of the personal data found in locally stored registration documents. Passports are then manufactured centrally at Bundesdruckerei GmbH ( the former German government printing office which was privatized into a commercial security-printing business in 2000).

If the necessity can be proven, more than one passport can be issued with overlapping validity (e.g. when travelling to Arab countries with an Israeli stamp in the passport, or when needed for professional reasons). In theory, a person can concurrently hold up to ten passports. The additional passports have six instead of ten years validity.

A German passport (32 pages, delivered within a month, issued to a person 24 years and older) costs 59 €[3]. A passport for a person under the age of 24 which has a validity of six years costs 37.50 €. A 48 pages passport costs a premium of 22 €, express delivery a premium of 32 €.

Child's Passport

A unique type of passport issued by Germany since 2006 is a Child’s Passport (in German: Kinderreisepass). Unlike a regular German passport, the Kinderreisepass does not include biometric features and lacks the insignia of the European Union at the top of the front cover. The exclusion of biometric information is due to the ongoing development of infants and young children and the low security risk they pose; nevertheless, the photo used in the passport does have to comply with biometric standards. All other features are similar to those of a regular passport: the burgundy red color and the German coat of arms engraved at the center of the front cover. Kinderreisepässe are issued for children up to 12 years of age and are valid for a 6 years period. When a child reaches the age of twelve, a regular passport must be obtained for international travel.

A Child’s passport has 16 pages (unlike the regular’s 32), of which 11 are designated for stamping and the others are used for a title page, instructions and personal information. The first page features the words “Child's Passport” in three languages: German, English and French.

Unlike a regular passport, the information pages in a Kinderreisepass are not security laminated (yet do have other security features) and have a different format. The information included is more or less the same, with the following differences: The type of passport is PC instead of P, the passport does not include a personal signature but rather the issuing authority’s signature, and the passport number contains an alphabetical character unlike the all-numerical passport number of an adult. As in other passports, the main information page ends with a 2-line machine-readable code, according to ICAO standard 9303.

A Child’s passport serves just like any other passport, with the exception that it is not biometric (or e-Passport). As a result, travelling to the USA, for example, requires a tourist visa in spite of Germany’s participation in the American Visa Waiver Program. Alternatively, infants and children of any age are allowed to obtain a regular German passport (biometric) instead of a Child’s passport, which nevertheless has the advantages of low cost, short processing times and being issuable by honorary consuls (making them easier to obtain by German emigrants who live far away from a German embassy or consulate). Just like Provisional passports, Children passports are issued without being sent to the Bundesdruckerei GmbH, which is the main reason behind these advantages.

Visa-free access & Visa-on-arrival

188 countries and territories grant German passport holders visa-free or visa-upon-arrival access, of which 155 are accessible without a visa.[2]

GermanVisaFreeTravel.png

Africa

Countries and Territories Conditions of access
 Botswana 90 days [3]
 Burundi Visa can be obtained upon arrival
 Comoros A free 24 h transit visa issued upon arrival at the airport. Within 24 hours this must be converted into a full visa at the immigration office in Moroni
(fee payable)
 Djibouti 30 days visa can be obtain upon arrival for DJF5,000
 Egypt 30 days visa issued upon arrival for US$15
 Ethiopia 90 days tourist visa issued upon arrival (Addis Ababa Airport only; US$40 and two passport photos required)
 Gambia 90 days
 Kenya 90 days visa may be issued upon arrival for $50
 Lesotho 14 days [4]
 Madagascar 90 days visa issued upon arrival for MGA 140,000; visa obtained prior to arrival strongly recommended
 Malawi 90 days
 Mauritius 90 days
 Mayotte 90 days
 Morocco 90 days
 Mozambique 30 days visa issued upon arrival for US$25 [5]
 Namibia 90 days [6]
 Réunion unlimited access [7]
 Rwanda 90 days
 Saint Helena 90 days
 Senegal 90 days
 Seychelles 30 days
 South Africa 90 days [8]
 Swaziland 60 days [9]
 Tanzania 90 days visa issued upon arrival for USD 50[10]
 Togo 7 days visa can be obtained upon arrival for XOF10,000~35,000
 Tunisia 90 days
 Uganda 30 days visa can be obtained upon arrival for USD 50 [11]
 Zambia visa issued upon arrival (single entry visa fee USD 25) [12]
 Zimbabwe 90 days holiday/30 days business visa issued upon arrival for USD 30 ~ 55

Americas

Countries and Territories Conditions of access
 Anguilla 90 days [13]
 Antigua and Barbuda 30 days [14]
 Argentina 90 days [15]
 Aruba 90 days [16]
 Bahamas 90 days [17]
 Barbados 180 days [18]
 Belize 30 days
 Bermuda 180 days [19]
 Bolivia 90 days
 Brazil 90 days
 British Virgin Islands 30 days
 Canada 180 days [20]
 Cayman Islands 30 days
 Chile 90 days [21]
 Colombia 90 days [22]
 Costa Rica 90 days [23]
 Dominica 180 days
 Dominican Republic 30 days tourist card issued on arrival USD 10
 Ecuador 90 days [24]
 El Salvador 90 days [25]
 Falkland Islands 30 days
 French Guiana unlimited access [26]
 Greenland 90 days [27]
 Grenada 90 days [28]
 Guadeloupe unlimited access [29]
 Guatemala 90 days
 Guyana 90 days
 Haiti 90 days [30]
 Honduras 90 days
 Jamaica 90 days [31]
 Martinique unlimited access [32]
 Mexico 180 days tourist/30 days business [33]
 Montserrat 90 days
 Netherlands Antilles 90 days
 Nicaragua 90 days
 Panama 90 days [34]
 Paraguay 90 days [35]
 Peru 90 days [36]
 Puerto Rico 90 days,[Electronic System for Travel Authorization(ESTA)required.(free of charge)
 Saint Barthélemy unlimited access [37]
 Saint Kitts and Nevis 90 days [38]
 Saint Lucia 6 weeks
 Saint Martin unlimited access [39]
 Saint Pierre and Miquelon 90 days [40]
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 30 days [41]
 Trinidad and Tobago 90 days
 Turks and Caicos Islands 30 days
 United States of America 90 days,[Electronic System for Travel Authorization(ESTA)required.(free of charge)
 Uruguay 90 days
 U.S. Virgin Islands 90 days,[Electronic System for Travel Authorization(ESTA)required.(free of charge)
 Venezuela 90 days

Asia

Countries and Territories Conditions of access

ASEAN

 Brunei Darussalam 30 days [42]
 Cambodia 30 days visa issued upon arrival for USD 20/USD 25
 Indonesia 30 days visa issued upon arrival for USD 25 [43]
 Laos 30 days visa issued upon arrival for USD 30
 Malaysia 90 days [44]
 Philippines 21 days [45]
 Singapore 90 days
 Thailand 30 days [46]

Non-ASEAN

 Armenia 120 days visa issued upon arrival for AMD 15,000 [47]
 Bahrain 14 days visa issued upon arrival for BHD5 [48]
 Bangladesh 90 days visa issued upon arrival for USD50
 Republic of China (Taiwan) 30 days [49]
 China 48-hour transit (Shanghai Pu Dong or Hongqiao only); 24-hour transit (most other airports) [50]
 Georgia 360 days [51]
 Hong Kong 90 days [52]
 Iraq (only Kurdistan region) visa issued upon arrival (free of charge)
 Israel 90 days
 Japan 90 days [53]
 Jordan 30 days visa issued upon arrival for JOD10 [54]
 South Korea 90 days [55]
 Kuwait 90 days visa issued upon arrival for KWD6 [56]
 Kyrgyzstan 30 days visa issued upon arrival (fee USD 35 ~ USD 70)
 Lebanon 30 days visa issued upon arrival (free of charge) [57]
 Macau 90 days [58]
 Maldives 30 days visa issued upon arrival free of charge [59]
 Mongolia Visa can be issued upon arrival
 Nepal 15/30/90 days visa issued on arrival for $25/40/100
 Oman visa issued upon arrival : 30 days (OMR 6), 1 year multiple entries stay up to 3-week per visit (OMR 10)
 Qatar 21 days visa can be issued upon arrival
 Sri Lanka 30 days [60]
 Timor-Leste 30 days visa issued upon arrival for USD 30
 United Arab Emirates 30 days [61]
 Yemen 90 days visa issued upon arrival for YER10,500 [62]

Europe

Countries and Territories Conditions of access

 European Union

 Austria unlimited access [63][64]
 Belgium unlimited access [65][66]
 Bulgaria unlimited access [67][68]
 Cyprus unlimited access [69][70]
 Czech Republic unlimited access [71][72]
 Denmark unlimited access [73][74]
 Estonia unlimited access [75][76]
 Finland unlimited access [77][78]
 France unlimited access [79][80]
 Gibraltar unlimited access
 Greece unlimited access [81][82]
 Hungary unlimited access [83][84]
 Republic of Ireland unlimited access [85][86]
 Italy unlimited access [87][88]
 Latvia unlimited access [89][90]
 Lithuania unlimited access [91][92]
 Luxembourg unlimited access [93][94]
 Malta unlimited access [95][96]
 Netherlands unlimited access [97][98]
 Poland unlimited access [99][100]
 Portugal unlimited access [101][102]
 Romania unlimited access [103][104]
 Slovakia unlimited access [105][106]
 Slovenia unlimited access [107][108]
 Spain unlimited access [109][110]
 Sweden unlimited access [111][112]
 United Kingdom unlimited access [113]

Non-EU

 Albania 90 days [114]
 Andorra 90 days
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 90 days
 Croatia 90 days [115]
 Faroe Islands 90 days [116]
 Guernsey 180 days [117]
 Iceland unlimited access
 Isle of Man 180 days
 Jersey unlimited access (EEA)[118]
 Liechtenstein unlimited access (EEA)
 Moldova 90 days)
 Monaco 90 days
 Montenegro 90 days [119]
 Norway unlimited access [120]
 San Marino 90 days
 Serbia 90 days [121]
 Switzerland unlimited access
 Turkey 90 days [122]
 Ukraine 90 days
 Vatican City 90 days)

Oceania

Countries and Territories Conditions of access
 American Samoa 30 days
 Australia 90 days eVisitor visa required (free of charge)
 Cook Islands 31 days [123]
 Fiji 180 days
 Guam 90 days,[Electronic System for Travel Authorization(ESTA)required.(free of charge)
 Kiribati 28 days [124]
 Marshall Islands 30 days visa issued upon arrival
 Federated States of Micronesia 30 days[125]
 New Caledonia 90 days
 New Zealand 90 days [126]
 Niue 30 days
 Northern Mariana Islands 30 days [127]
 Palau 30 days visa issued upon arrival (free of charge) [128]
 Papua New Guinea 60-days visa issued upon arrival for PGK100 (tourist), PGK500 (business) [129]
 French Polynesia 90 days
 Norfolk Island 90 days - eVisitor visa required (free of charge)
 Samoa 60 days, free visitor permit issued upon arrival [130]
 Solomon Islands 90 days [131]
 Tokelau free cruising permit can be obtain in Apia, Samoa [132]
 Tonga 31 days visa issued upon arrival (free of charge)
 Tuvalu 30 days visa issued upon arrival (free of charge)
 Vanuatu 30 days [133]
 Wallis and Futuna 90 days

References

External links


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